Annual Banquet Honors Completion of Service, Excellent Field Work and Bravery
Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry honored 11 retirees and 61 award recipients at a banquet at the Waldorf Jaycees Community Center. Honorees were recognized for completion of service to the Agency, excellent field work, or acts of bravery. Mr. William Saunders, a retired police captain, served as the Master of Ceremonies. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented Colors; Mrs. Jennifer Voorhaar sang the National Anthem; Dr. Aaron Jones, a CCSO Chaplain, delivered the invocation; and Dr. Bruce Jones, a CCSO Chaplain, delivered the benediction. “It is an honor to work with the men and women of the CCSO, and our award winners and retirees represent some of the best,” said Sheriff Berry. “Their dedication to service has made a lasting impact on our agency, and we congratulate them on their success.”
The following retirees were honored (listed with dates of service):
- Byron Flynn (September 20, 1995 – November 2, 2015)
- Calvin Roberts (September 30, 1994 – November 16, 2015)
- Roger Fallin (September 25, 1995 – November 28, 2015)
- Deputy Director Eric Halvorsen (September 9, 1996 – January 5, 2016)
- Gayle Carroll (March 3, 2007 – March 3, 2016)
- Eric Leukhardt (January 16, 1996 – May 1, 2016)
- M/Cpl. Wendell Wathen (November 7, 1988 – July 8, 2016)
- Director Susan Rice (November 2, 1981 – July 16, 2016)
- M/Sgt. Tracy Williams (August 5, 1991 – August 16, 2016)
- Richard Allen (October 15, 2007 – August 31, 2016)
- M/Cpl. Ronald Leukhardt (September 3, 1996 – October 28, 2016)
The following awards were presented:
Silver Medal of Valor: POI Lamar Hamilton
Bronze Medal of Valor: Cpl. William Saunders, Pfc. Justin Bottorf, POII Matthew Nauman, Trooper Matthew Milich, Mr. Woodrow Price
Lifesaving Awards: M/Cpl. Jason Hopkins and Ms. Yolanda Davis
Shortly before midnight on September 2, 2016, officers responded to a single vehicle accident on St. Charles Parkway south of Northgate Place. As officers began arriving on the scene, they discovered a vehicle had run off the roadway and struck a tree. The engine compartment was fully engulfed in flames. An adult female and two infant children were trapped inside the burning car. The driver, an adult male who suffered numerous leg fractures in the accident, was seated outside of the vehicle. An adult female passenger, who was apparently ejected from the vehicle and suffering from numerous injuries to include a serious facial injury, was located later. As Corporal Saunders and Officer Nauman used their Agency-issued fire extinguishers to fight the blaze, Officer Bottorf arrived and dragged the driver to safety. In order to save the two trapped children, Officer Hamilton entered the burning vehicle, removed the children from the vehicle, and handed one child to Officer Nauman and the other to MSP Trooper Milich. Both children were taken to a safe area away from danger. Officers then attempted to free the adult female who was still trapped in the front passenger seat. It was clear she was in imminent danger and that she had already been burned by the flames. The fire forced the officers back. With the vehicle still burning and flames now touching the woman, Cpl. Saunders used a fire extinguisher to keep the flames away from her as much as possible until firefighters arrived. Ms. Davis, a citizen who lives nearby, saw the fire, grabbed a fire extinguisher out of her house, and brought it to officers. Ms. Davis then saw the infants on the ground, and she immediately went to aid one of the babies by comforting and talking to her.
Upon the arrival of Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, Station 3, firefighters took over battling the fire. It was then that Mr. Price – a volunteer firefighter/EMT –provided air to the pinned passenger as she struggled to breathe. This act placed Price in severe danger from smoke inhalation, but he remained with female. It was clear she already suffered severe burns to her legs. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters were able to get her out of the vehicle to safety.
A massive undertaking was underway to coordinate three emergency medical helicopters to transport the five patients who were suffering from critical injuries, including fractured bones, a fractured skull, and second and third-degree burns. All five occupants of the vehicle were treated on the scene and stabilized by EMTs and two CCSO Officers. Cpl. Saunders, who is a certified EMT, administered oxygen to both infants. M/Cpl. Hopkins, who is also a trained paramedic and located the ejected passenger, provided advanced lifesaving care to her. As a direct result of the medical aid he provided, the woman survived. When the helicopters arrived, M/Cpl. Hopkins remained with his victim as she was flown from the scene to Washington Hospital Center.
All five occupants of the vehicle survived due to the heroic efforts of these men and women. For the lifesaving care they provided, M/Cpl. Hopkins and Ms. Davis received the Lifesaving Award. For their bravery, exposing themselves to a high level of danger and risking serious injury or death in saving the lives of those trapped in the vehicle, Cpl. Saunders, Officer Bottorf, Officer Nauman, Trooper Milich, and Mr. Price received the Bronze Medal of Valor. And for his courageous act above and beyond the call of duty, knowingly putting himself in harm’s way and risking his own life to save another, Officer Hamilton was awarded the Silver Medal of Valor.
The following individuals received Bronze Medals of Valor:
Pfc. Larry Blake and Mr. Jonathan Wynn: On February 4, 2016, PFC Blake was driving southbound on St. Charles Parkway when he observed a male subject standing at the driver’s side door of a stopped vehicle at the light at Post Office Road. Because it appeared the subject was attempted to gain entry into the vehicle, PFC Blake made a U-turn and approached the intersection to investigate. As PFC Blake was exiting his vehicle, the subject began to flee. These events attracted the attention of an off-duty United States Secret Service Agent, Jonathan M. Wynn, who stopped to provide assistance. Pfc. Blake and Agent Wynn pursued the suspect on foot. As they closed on the suspect, PFC Blake observed him reaching into his waistband as if to pull a weapon. PFC Blake then ordered him to show his hands. Fearing for his safety after the suspect failed to comply, PFC Blake fired his service weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect fell to the ground, but he resisted attempts by PFC Blake and Agent Wynn to secure him. Once the suspect was handcuffed, a stolen .380 semi-automatic handgun was located on his person. A vial of PCP that had been tossed by the suspect was also located nearby. It was later learned that the 70-year-old male driver of the vehicle that was stopped at Post Office Road believed the suspect was attempting to carjack him.
PFC Blake and Agent Wynn placed themselves in significant risk of injury or worse to protect the citizens of Charles County. Their actions demonstrate great courage and professionalism in the face of danger.
The following individuals received Meritorious Service Awards:
- M/Cpl. Charles McCue: On the afternoon of April 9, 2016, M/Cpl. McCue was on a special saturation detail in the Wakefield neighborhood, when he was flagged down by a citizen who stated a male subject was walking toward the Wakefield Recreation Center with a long gun. M/Cpl. McCue responded to the rec center, where he observed a male subject walking away from the front doors with an assault rifle. Seeing M/Cpl. McCue coming toward him, the suspect ducked behind a vehicle in the parking lot. M/Cpl. McCue immediately engaged the suspect, ordering him to the ground. The suspect, who had hidden the assault rifle under another vehicle, gave himself up and was placed under arrest. M/Cpl. McCue searched the area and located the AR-15 rifle, which was loaded with 27 rounds and was determined to have been stolen through Fayetteville, NC. Investigation revealed the suspect was attending an event at the rec center when he was punched by another man. The suspect then left the event to retrieve the assault rifle. People inside the rec center saw the suspect approaching with the rifle and, fearing for their lives, quickly locked the doors to keep the suspect from entering. It was at this time that the citizen flagged down M/Cpl. McCue to report the armed suspect in the area.
The actions of M/Cpl. McCue in confronting a suspect with an assault rifle placed him in danger and may have saved innocent lives.
- M/Sgt. Daniel Bacon and Pfc. Steven Davis: On July 18, 2016, officers were dispatched to a White Plains residence for a domestic assault with a weapon involved. The male suspect, armed with a knife, had barricaded himself in a bedroom after assaulting his girlfriend. The suspect stated he was armed with an assault rifle, shotgun, and a knife, and threatened to kill officers on the scene and then kill himself. When the suspect eventually opened the front bedroom window to yell at officers, M/Sgt Bacon was able to see that the suspect was armed with only a knife. Officers devised a plan to enter the room and confront the suspect. While the suspect was distracted, Pfc. Steve Davis kicked the bedroom door open, and M/Sgt Bacon made entry, confronting the armed suspect. Armed with a 7-inch hunting knife, the suspect advanced toward the officers. M/Sgt. Bacon utilized his Agency-issued Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW), after which he and Pfc. Davis quickly placed the suspect into custody without anyone being injured.
The officers were faced with a very dangerous situation to themselves and to the suspect, but their quick thinking and actions ended the conflict with the least amount of force.
- Charles Gregory: On November 9, 2015, a female victim was at the drive-up ATM at the Bank of America in La Plata, MD, when a masked male with a gun opened her rear door and sat down in her back seat. Soon after, another masked male entered her vehicle and sat in the front passenger seat. Fearing for her life, the victim complied with their demands to remove $600.00 from her account. She then drove them to a nearby location where they exited her vehicle. In addition to the money, the suspects stole the victim’s ring, her phone, her wallet, and other property. Two days later, a similar robbery occurred in St. Mary’s County, MD. Through investigation, Detective Gregory was able to determine a possible location of the suspects in Southeast Washington, DC. He responded to the location, an apartment building and, on a hunch, began going through the trash dumpsters to see if he could recover any evidence. He discovered evidence from the La Plata robbery. Through further investigation, Detective Gregory subsequently identified the suspects and linked them to the robberies. Additional evidence was recovered.
Detective Gregory displayed the highest level of professionalism, investigative skill, and diligence during this investigation, closing the case with an arrest only nine days after the first robbery occurred.
- Matthew Becker: On July 9, 2016, shortly after midnight, Sgt. Matthew Becker was first on the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident. He observed an Amish buggy overturned on the side of the road with multiple victims lying on the road. A female was walking in the middle of the road, carrying a small child; another small child was found less than four feet from the front of his truck. He immediately called 911 and advised Communications of multiple adults and children injured. All seven of them had been thrown out of the buggy as it overturned. The victims in the buggy included two adults, a 15-month old girl, a 3-year old girl, a 5-year old girl, a 7-year old girl, and an 8-year old boy. Sgt. Becker risked his own safety by standing in the roadway to stop on-coming traffic. Most drivers were unaware that several small children were lying unconscious in the roadway. As bystanders started approaching the scene, Sgt. Becker, who is a First Aid and CPR Instructor, relayed instructions to them. Sgt. Becker also relayed pertinent information about the victims to the paramedics when they arrived. All seven occupants of the buggy were subsequently flown to either MedStar Washington Hospital Center or to Children’s National Medical Center. The driver and passenger of the vehicle that hit the buggy were treated and released on the scene.
As of July 21, 2016, all patients had been released from the hospital. Because of Sgt. Becker’s quick actions and exemplary performance during this accident, lives were protected and ultimately saved.
- Detective John “Bobby” Long: In July 2015, Detective Bobby Long began an investigation into a reported case of sexual child abuse involving a male suspect and the two children of his former live-in girlfriend between 2007 and 2015. A medical examination of the victims produced evidence of sexual abuse. Based on the disclosure of the victims and the medical evidence, Detective Long was able to obtain an arrest warrant. Unfortunately, the suspect had moved out of state by this time, and his whereabouts were unknown. The United States Marshals Service agreed to assist with the apprehension of the suspect, who was eventually located in Kansas in December 2015. The following month, Detective Long and an officer from the Judicial Services Section flew to Kansas to extradite the suspect back to Charles County, MD. On January 7, 2016, Detective Long met the suspect for the first time; the suspect denied the allegations against him. For the next twelve hours as they traveled from Kansas back to Maryland, Detective Long built a rapport with the suspect. Having gained the trust and respect of the suspect over the course of that time, the suspect admitted to the crime. This confession was of immeasurable importance in the prosecution of the suspect without the victims having to testify.
The following individuals received Lifesaving Awards:
- M/Cpl. Charles McCue and Pfc. Tiffany Smith: On March 3, 2016, Pfc. Tiffany Smith was working as a School Resource Officer assigned to Mattawoman Middle School. She responded to a call for help from the school nurse for a 6th grade student in the hallway who had stopped breathing. The nurse was with the student, who had slumped over in his wheelchair. Pfc. Smith used the electric handle on his wheelchair to get him into the teachers’ lounge so medical aid could be rendered. She called for medical assistance and asked for the AED that was located by the school office. Due to Pfc. Smith’s relationship with her students, she was aware of the medical problems suffered by this 6th grader, which helped in her assessment and treatment of him at the scene.
The student was unstrapped and removed from his wheelchair and placed on a couch. When Pfc. Smith noticed the student was not breathing or responsive, she immediately placed him on the floor, applied the AED patches, and started chest compressions. The school nurse administered a rescue breath as Pfc. Smith continued chest compressions for more than four minutes until M/Cpl. McCue arrived on the scene and took over. Approximately a minute later, EMS arrived and continued medical aid. A pulse was found on the student’s trip by ambulance to Children’s National Medical Center. The student recovered. Emergency Medical Technicians attribute the officers’ early intervention as the primary reason they were able to successfully revive the student.
The actions of Pfc. Smith and M/Cpl. McCue preserved the life of this young student and are a reflection of their commitment to the Agency and the citizens of Charles County.
- Brian Moore: On July 15, 2016, Pfc. Brian Moore answered a call for an unresponsive 1-year-old child who had been pulled from a small, inflatable pool in her backyard in the Bryans Road area. When the mother grabbed the child out of the pool, the baby did not appear to be breathing. She called 911 and ran, carrying her baby, out into the street. When Pfc. Moore arrived on the scene approximately a minute after the 911 call, he took the baby from the mother and noticed she was unresponsive, had discoloring to her lips, and her eyes were open and fixed. After performing chest compressions, Pfc. Moore noticed signs of life in the victim. When paramedics arrived, the child was transported to the hospital, where it was determined she was no longer in any life-threatening danger.
There is no doubt that the quick arrival and immediate, professional handling of this situation by Pfc. Moore saved the life of this child.
- Crystal Parum, Cfc. Jonathan Martin, Cfc. Evin Flowers, Cfc. Derek Arends, and Sgt. Matthew Kline (Certificate of Commendation): On May 19, 2016, at approximately 5 p.m., an officer conducting security rounds in the Women’s Classification Unit at the Charles County Detention Center discovered a female inmate hanging inside her cell. Officers responded and quickly removed the woman to the ground. She was unconscious and not breathing, prompting officers to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Due to the efforts of the officers on the scene, the inmate began to breathe on her own. She was flown by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD, for further treatment. The entire incident was handled smoothly and without delay. The quick response and terrific teamwork of these officers undoubtedly prevented the loss of life.
- Amy Stine, Sgt. Matthew Irby, Sgt. Tony Oliver, Cpl. Shawn Gregory, Cpl. William Saunders, Cfc. Dustin Mayfield, Cfc. James McKenzie, and LPN Ashley McGuigan: On October 1, 2015, at approximately 1600 hours, an inmate was found hanging by a bed sheet in her cell. Officers immediately responded, and placed the woman on the ground and began CPR/First Aid. Medical staff responded, and police assistance was requested by radio. Sworn officers then responded to the Detention Center to provide additional assistance. Officers continued CPR even after paramedics and fire department personnel arrived. Paramedics provided advanced life support while officers provided chest compressions and airway management. Soon after, a pulse was re-obtained. While being transported to a hospital, the woman began to breathe on her own. The life of this inmate was saved, thanks to the quick response, training, and teamwork of all officers and medical personnel involved.
- Johnathan Fromme and Pfc. Morgan Fields: On July 30, 2016, officers were dispatched to an apartment on Blair Road in Indian Head, MD, for the report of a subject not breathing. Officers arrived and discovered the subject, who was on his bed, not moving or breathing. Officers removed the subject from the bed and placed him on the floor. They then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the arrival of EMS. CPR continued, and a pulse was established. The subject was transported to University of Maryland – Charles Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. If not for the lifesaving efforts of PFC Fromme and PFC Fields, the subject would not have had a chance to survive.
The following individuals received Sheriff’s Awards:
- Shayne Stanley: On Thanksgiving Day 2015, at approximately 5 p.m., a call was placed to 911 for a house fire on Hackney Lane in Waldorf. When Cpl. Stanley arrived at the scene and entered the residence, he observed a fire that had started on the stove and moved to the cabinet area. He was able to put out the fire with his fire extinguisher. While speaking to the residents afterward, he heard a loud “pop” and realized the fire had again ignited. He went back into the house and extinguished the fire for the second time. The fire department then arrived and removed the stove from the house; SMECO also arrived and cut the electricity off to the house for safety. While the family gathered their belongings and was deciding where they would stay, Cpl. Stanley invited them to the Waldorf District Station, where he knew there was an abundance of food in the kitchen. At the station, he was able to pack up a Thanksgiving dinner for the family. In addition to extinguishing the house fire and keeping it from spreading throughout the home, Cpl. Stanley realized this family and their two young children had been traumatized by the fire and the loss of their Thanksgiving dinner. By his actions, he showed compassion for the family and further promoted a positive image for the Agency.
- Patricia Adams, Special Agent Troy Yeager, and Detective David Metzler: Assigned to the Narcotics Enforcement Section, Detective Adams was recognized for her dedication, professionalism, and work ethic demonstrated during an investigation into a “Pill Mill.” The monitoring of evidence and transactions took five months to complete. Based on the information gathered during a wiretap, a total of fifteen federal search and seizure warrants were executed in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and nineteen individuals were federally indicted. Additionally, nine vehicles, one house, and three bank accounts were seized, along with $180,473.34. In all, four pill mills and four pharmacies were shut down. For their professionalism and assistance in bringing this investigation to a close, Special Agent Troy Yeager of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General and Detective David Metzler of the Howard County Police Department were also recognized.
- Reagan Henehan: In August 2016, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office underwent its on-site assessment for reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. This year’s process of reaccreditation differed from years past, as it included an electronic review of all CALEA files. This required Reagan to learn a new system and implement it in a short period of time, on top of completing all necessary files. Her tireless efforts in reviewing, analyzing, and interpreting CALEA standards in order to gather the required documentation were essential to the Agency’s success during the on-site. Additionally, due to circumstances beyond her control, Reagan served as the Agency’s point person during the assessors’ visit, managing many duties that exceeded her job description.
The following individuals received Certificates of Commendation:
- Jeffrey Bryant: Jeff Bryant was assigned to the Pre-Employment Section as a part-time background investigator on October 13, 2015. He has excelled in this position, drawing from his years of investigative experience as a police officer. Normally, a part-time investigator would handle 30 cases a year. Since the beginning of this year, he has been assigned 40 background investigations to conduct on applicants for police officer, correctional officer, and civilian positions. He has also picked up an increased workload due to the resignation of one investigator and the absence of another. Jeff has done an outstanding job in completing these investigations in a timely manner so the Agency could fill employee vacancies.
- Stephine Gregory: Stephine Gregory had been a part-time administrative assistant assigned to the Pre-Employment Section until August 6, 2016, when she took over the position of part-time Background Investigator when an opening became available. Stephine’s original job description did not include conducting background investigations for new applicants, but she had a willingness to learn how to conduct an investigation. She displayed a natural talent for this and learned the process quickly. As a result, she was assigned background investigations while she was an administrative assistant. Her position was subsequently upgraded with the added responsibilities, and her workload has increased due to the reduced staff in Pre-Employment the last several months. Since the beginning of this year, she has been assigned 15 background investigations for police officers, correctional officers, and civilian applicants. She has also taken care of 54 limited backgrounds, which consist of criminal history and traffic history checks. Stephine has gone above and beyond what is expected of her in order for the Agency to be able to hire qualified candidates in a timely manner.
- Robert Ansell: Robert is being commended for his work replacing the core network switch, which connects all Agency buildings to one another. Robert collaborated with our vendor to design the solution that would best serve the Agency. It took many hours of conceptual planning by phone and through document sharing. As a result of this planning, he selected a product that has reduced the possibility of network failure to almost zero possibility. Through Robert’s efforts, MIS was able to replace equipment that was failing, no longer under warranty, and could have caused Agency-wide downtime, and replace it with a product that provides back-up at a fraction of the original quoted cost. Robert showed his ability to complete a project from the design phase to the end product. This project is a great example of his dedication to the Sheriff’s Office.
- M/Sgt. Timothy Miner, Sgt. Anthony Celia, Cpl. Terrell Hemsley, Pfc. Jeffery Feldman, Pfc. Charles Gregory, Pfc. Eric Weaver, and Pfc. Corey Wimberly: The CID Robbery Unit solved all five bank robberies and attempted bank robberies that occurred in Charles County in 2015. All of these investigations were closed by arrest. These detectives were also instrumental in solving several high profile bank robberies in the DC region, to include the arrest of a serial bank robber dubbed by the FBI as the “Black Hat Bandit.” In addition to all of the robberies in Charles County that were closed by arrest, detectives assigned to the Robbery Unit directly contributed to the closing of fourteen (14) other bank robberies in the Washington, DC, area. Countless hours were invested by our detectives in evidence collection, interviews, surveillance, and cooperation with local and federal law enforcement agencies. This is only a sample of the exceptional effort they put forth on a daily basis. Their dedication and excellent investigative work is to be commended.
- Kristian Syvertsen: During the 2015 calendar year, Cpl. Syvertsen stopped 874 vehicles and issued 1,223 violations to motorists. His diligence in enforcement of traffic law has resulted in multiple impaired driver arrests and helped to provide the ground work to expand the capabilities of the Traffic Operations Unit. After completing the Basic Motor Officer Certification Course sponsored by the United States Park Police Motor Division, he immediately went to work identifying tech solutions on the Agency’s current fleet of motorcycles. Pending the purchase of new, updated computer and printer systems for these motor units, Cpl. Syvertsen used ingenuity and creativity to outfit them with temporary computer solutions.
Cpl. Syvertsen has worked diligently to digitize all Traffic Operations records and tracking systems, allowing the unit to focus their enforcement efforts in a more effective manner. He works tirelessly to reduce traffic crashes and educate the public on the consequences of aggressive driving. He also serves as the Agency’s Breath Test Operator Coordinator and attends training and meetings to ensure the program is correctly administered and the records are properly maintained. He has worked diligently both on and off duty to ensure the equipment of the Traffic Operations Unit functions properly. He has applied his knowledge of electronics to repair and upgrade previously unusable equipment.
Cpl. Syvertsen is an outstanding, innovative officer. His dedication is unwavering, and he is an asset to the Traffic Operations Unit. He is truly the embodiment of a traffic safety officer.
- Tanya Tayman: In preparation for the Agency’s move away from the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and automated Records Management Systems (RMS) server applications, Tanya Tayman collaborated with our vendor to design and implement a Windows-based solution. She spent many hours working with Keystone during the design and development phase of this endeavor, followed by three days of actually implementing the switch. As a result, the Agency was able to move from an antiquated Linux-based operating system to a system that will provide more stability. This was done with minimal downtime. Tanya’s knowledge and involvement led to the completion of the project from the design phase to its implementation, which is a testimony to her dedication and commitment to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
- Gloria Bowers, Mrs. Rita Williamson, Mrs. Barbara Roberts, Ms. Katie Turner, Ms. Kathleen Kelly, Ms. Dianna Morgan, Ms. Irene Tarburton: Every fall, the Agency’s Fiscal Section is extraordinarily busy preparing the fiscal budget. This year, FOP Lodge #24 prevailed in a lawsuit, resulting in back pay for eligible police officers. As a result, in addition to preparing the Agency budget, the Fiscal Section was also tasked with calculating back pay and other compensation for police officers over a two-year period.
Ms. Gloria Bowers worked tirelessly with the County’s Finance Staff to ensure the officers were correctly compensated. Ms. Bowers, with the assistance of the CCSO Accounting Section, completed over 900 payroll change orders and managed their workload. Each payroll change required individual calculations. The payroll changes were complex and included promotions, merit increases, overtime, shift differential, retirement, and other benefits.
This lengthy and complicated project is an example of the teamwork, professionalism, and commitment of civilian employees, who are an essential component of the overall success of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
The following individuals received Certificates of Appreciation:
- Debra Heller: As the supervisor of the Biology Section of the Forensic Sciences Division of the Maryland State Police, Mrs. Heller has cultivated a strong working partnership between the MSP laboratory and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. While being inundated with current casework from across the state, Mrs. Heller has offered her time to work with the CCSO Forensic Science Unit on numerous cold cases. She collaborates with FSU to screen evidence for submission, determining which evidence is most probative and may yield the best results and reviewing a multitude of evidence and material to determine how to proceed.
With her assistance, the FSU has been successful in examining longstanding cold cases, re-examining previously submitted evidence to develop new leads, and developing suspect DNA profiles. Her dedication to this partnership ensures that victims of decades-old crimes will not be forgotten and that closure may still come. Additionally, she continues to provide training on DNA collection and preservation, CODIS, and MSP laboratory procedures to both the Sheriff’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office. As a result, detectives and crime scene processors have developed an advanced knowledge of the types of biological evidence to search for on crime scenes, how to preserve and package the evidence, and what evidence will be eligible for CODIS. This knowledge and training have positively impacted the way current cases are processed and increased the probability of locating suspect DNA.
- Tisha Ivers: On June 3, 2016, the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy held its graduation ceremony for Police Entrance Level Training Program, Session 42. Due to numerous assignments that evening, an Agency photographer was not available to attend. As a result, Mrs. Ivers volunteered several hours of her time to attend the ceremony and capture images of the event through still photos. After the conclusion of the ceremony, she willingly stayed to take group shots of the graduates from all three counties. She also ensured that each Agency received copies of the photos in a reasonable amount of time. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Ivers for her willingness to serve in a volunteer capacity as a photographer for this event. Mrs. Ivers is commended for her assistance and cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office.